Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Wednesday's Words on a Friday



On Wednesdays, assorted people have been taking monthly turns at putting up a selection of six (or twelve) words which is called “Words for Wednesday”.
We have taken over this meme from Delores, who had been having computer problems.

This month the meme continues here, with words supplied by Mark Koopmans.
Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.   

Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or images.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  We would really like it if as many people as possible joined in with this fun meme.
If you are posting on your own blog - let us know so that we can come along and read your masterpiece.
 
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.
It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. wallow
2. spindle
3. bratwurst
4. knees
5. Trinidad
6. Victoria's Secret

and/or

1. Disney
2. emojis
3. fashionista
4. carpool
5. slug
6. languishing

and/or

1. deity
2. ebonics
3. slashed
4. Reebok
5. holder
6. knockers 

Here is my story:

I'd worked hard to be able to come here, to be a model for the Victoria's Secret catalogues, and it had been such fun at first. I still remembered the shocked expression on Miss Johnson's face, how her eyes had popped wide and her jaw dropped open when Daddy had said roughly, "you can pretty it up anyway you please, it's still just a holder for her knockers." Miss Johnson, with her prim posture, had almost fainted away with Daddy's words; probably the heat had something to do with that too. She had come all the way from New York to help me plead my case. 

I'd been at college when an unknown someone had spotted me, introduced himself as George, and asked if I wouldn't mind having a few pictures taken, he'd send them back to his office and his boss would be in contact very soon. "George" was convinced I "got what it takes, baby!" I could be a model. I'd heard stories of girls falling for this line and paying all their savings for photo shoots then never hearing anything more about it, so I wasn't entirely convinced, but the seed had been sown. Me? A model? 

Anyway, George had been a legitimate spotter and I'd soon found myself spending far more time on location than in college, modelling the latest styles in clothing and shoes along with several other young girls. Not one of us was even twenty, Jolene was only 17 and had been plucked right out of highschool! 
Her mother had dollar signs where her eyes should be! 

Then it was summer and the clothes had been exchanged for swimsuits, locations had been exchanged for airconditioned rooms, filled with sand and umbrellas, so none of us would get sunburnt or develop (oh the horror) tan lines. Having to wear different styles of swimwear meant tan lines were absolutely forbidden. Then a Miss Johnson had stood by one day while the photographer kept up his patter, "look up, turn, smile", and so on; we could feel her judging us and during our break Mary-Ellen whispered that she was a spotter for Victoria's Secret. Mary-Ellen had been doing this job much longer than the rest of us, almost two years, and thought of herself as quite the Fashionista, never wearing anything that wasn't the latest style. 

We'd carpooled back to our apartment building that day, Jolene, Chrissy and me, and as we climbed the stairs to our adjacent apartments, (Jolene and Chrissy shared the apartment to my left), once again I wondered if I should spend a bit extra and get myself a nicer place to live. I was tired of this narrow staircase with it's constant smell of cabbage and bratwurst from the German family living one floor below me. Perhaps if I fell to my knees and pleaded with every deity known to man, the Germans would move out? But then I'd still be stuck with the narrow winding staircase; on the other hand, climbing all these stairs everyday was good for the figure, my hips and thighs were slim and firm. 

The next day, I'd had a phone call from Miss Johnson. She wanted me to try out at the next photo shoot for the next Victoria's Secret catalogue. I'd been so excited and had run squealing with joy to Jolene and Chrissy's apartment, only to be met with disappointed faces, they hadn't received any such call themselves. They were pleased for me, they said, but their disappointment was filling the small kitchen, so I left them to go and pack a bag for my trip to the Victoria's Secret Head Office. The trip was three days away, but I wanted to be prepared when Miss Johnson came for me. 

Miss Johnson had been a Victoria's Secret model herself, but was now considered too old, although she was still very slim (too slim, I thought, with her legs looking more like spindles), she'd been told that her butt was sagging and her breasts no longer perky enough to be modelling teddies and bra&knicker sets. But they'd kept her on as she was very good at spotting new talent. 

At the tryout photo shoot, I'd learned "the cameras loved me and I could go far in this business". Well, I'd heard that before, it's why I'd left college, but this was a new level of excitement. I was soon in the office discussing contracts, hours, payments and when I mentioned my family lived in Trinidad and I'd have to go back there to get Daddy's signature, they flew me back with Miss Johnson as chaperone and to help me convince Daddy this was a good move. Trinidad was a shock to Miss Johnson, the heat and humidity just about knocked her off her feet, but she rallied her inner strength and we went to speak to Daddy. 

We found him wallowing in his hammock in the shade of the lanai, cool lemonade by his side, feet in the air as he admired the new Reeboks I'd sent him recently. After the initial "holder for her knockers" statement, Daddy had behaved himself and after hashing out many of the finer points of the contract, he'd signed the paper, learned that Miss Johnson's name was Emily, she'd grown up within coo-ee of Disneyland and would most likely be at every photo shoot I'd be attending. Daddy assumed she'd be chaperoning me and I let him keep thinking that; in reality Miss Johnson would be looking at the crowds behind the rope barriers, searching for 'new talent'. 

Life had been fun after that for quite a while. I'd done several hundred photo shoots, had appeared in dozens of catalogues and made lots of money. 
Yet here I was, languishing like a slug on the balcony of my fabulous apartment, thinking back to my days next door to Jolene and Chrissy; back to my childhood in Trinidad and realising that I'd become tired.
Daddy was getting old now, I was heading towards thirty myself, with nothing to show for it but a large bank balance and a wardrobe of incredible clothes. My older brothers had married long ago and I had a slew of nieces and nephews that I rarely saw.

I wanted to go home.

8 comments:

  1. River - is this fact or fiction? Because you certainly have me convinced that the only way you could have written such a well detailed story was to have lived it! I visted EC's blog today, and was disappointed to see your comment that I would have to wait until the 20th to see your post with the WforW words ... and then I realized that today IS the 20th where you live :) Great job!

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  2. You nailed this. Big time. I laughed, I winced. 'their disappointment was filling the small kitchen' is a perfect line (and goes perfectly with the smell of Bratwurst and cabbage).

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  3. Susan F; total fiction! I never modelled in my life, nor have I been to Trinidad or New York. I've never left Australia, unless you count being born in Germany. Also I have four children, five grandchildren and no bank account worth mentioning.
    I'm so glad you liked my story.

    Elephant's Child; disappointment is often a big emotion that fills big spaces. It's like walking into a house where you can feel the occupants aren't happy in spite of the welcoming smiles.

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  4. Susan F; I'm having trouble reading your blog, there's a new pop-up window inviting me to subscribe which cannot be closed and the "read more" won't open the rest of the post, presumably because I haven't subscribed. I don't want to subscribe, I don't need blog posts coming through my emails.

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  5. .. another great story River,, you do have wonderful talent.. xxx Hugs... Barb xxx

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  6. Great story, and once again, I'm astounded you were able to use such a wide range of prompt words so well. (Not easy!)

    It's just as well the narrator was ready to give up the modeling life and go back home. Since she's closing in on thirty, she'd probably be about washed up in the modeling career anyway. Getting "too old..."

    Great job. Have a super weekend.

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  7. Very good, River. I've set the words aside but that is as far as I've gotten. I've been busy these past couple of days...and yesterday caught up with old friends from long ago, again....so my mind has been in that space and not in writing.....perhaps I'll find some spare time during the weekend.

    Good job. :)

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  8. Barbara; thank you, this one came together so well, so easily.

    Susan; sometimes it's easier with so many words, not always, it depends on the words and whether or not my mind picks up on one or two right away. There's often a trigger word that gets things rolling.

    Lee; I noticed you hadn't contributed, but I knew you were busy catching up with your old friends.

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